E is for Electroduende

As someone who used to watch quite a lot of TV as a teenager, I was a great fan of “La bola de cristal”, a tv programme from the 80s (The Crystal Ball).

This programme was aimed at children, teenagers and young adults, targeting each age group by segments. Assuming that the older the person, the later they would be getting up in the morning, La Bola de Cristal structured its content to appeal to an older age group as the programme progressed. (For photos etc, visit the official site http://www.rtve.es/television/la-bola-de-cristal/)

La bruja Averia. Image from official website http://www.rtve.es/television/la-bola-de-cristal/

The ‘electroduendes” (electric elves, see also D is for Duende), were irreverent creatures who artistically portrayed their creators’ political views. For example, the Bruja Averia (The Fault Witch) has a range of slogans including “viva el mal, viva el capital” (Hoorah for Evil; Hoorah for Capital).

Although the form seemed to be aimed at young children (puppets whose puppeteers had trained with Jim Henson), the underlying themes of the Electroduendes were definitely of interest to older viewers.

La Bola de Cristal ended with a segment hosting the most popular pop bands of the time. In fact, the second half of the programme was hosted by Alaska, who with Kaka de Luxe and Alaska y los Pegamoides (‘pegamoides’ has no translation, sorry!) became one of the most famous punk stars in the 80s. (She is still going by the way, still featuring in Spanish culture). Nostalgia for what was an exiting era in Spain can now be satiated through the purchase of DVDs of the series or many You Tube appearances.

If you speak Spanish and would like to find out more about the programme, or just have a look at the videos and pictures, visit http://www.rtve.es/television/la-bola-de-cristal/ For a different type of Spanish TV personality, see E is for Espinete.

(Taken from the chapter M is for Movida.)

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